On September 9, 2021, the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee released their health care proposals for the Build Back Better Act. On September 10, 2021, the Ways and Means Committee released a summary of certain provisions in their draft legislation. Taken together, the proposals seek to close the Medicaid coverage gap, add benefits to Medicare, and lower prescription drug prices, and make permanent the enhanced premium tax credits under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
While the policies proposed by Democrats in the House of Representatives are not presently expected to be passed as proposed, the changes being contemplated would have significant impacts on the health care industry.
The proposals provide the clearest insights into the Democratic legislative priorities heading into the 2022 midterm elections. It is expected that the budget reconciliation legislation in the Senate will need to be narrower and less expensive in order to obtain the requisite support for passage.
Notably, the proposals do not include a lowering of the Medicare eligibility age as some stakeholders have advocated for. The Energy and Commerce proposals include:
Affordable Care Act
Funding for the establishment of the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health to “make pivotal investments in breakthrough technologies and broadly applicable platforms, capabilities, resources, and solutions that have the potential to transform important areas of medicine and health that cannot readily be accomplished through traditional biomedical research or commercial activity.”
A Committee Memorandum may be found here. A Fact Sheet may be found here. Please look to Locke Lord to provide further updates of material developments as Congress considers these significant health care proposals.